MINERS
World-Class Athletes to Compete at UTEP Invitational Saturday

Blessing Okagbare

Blessing Okagbare

April 9, 2009

 

Meet Schedule | Live Results | Heat Sheets

EL PASO, Texas –
Kidd Field will open its doors to a star-studded lineup to compete at the 2009 UTEP Invitational on Saturday.

UTEP will be joined by a collection of 17 world-class athletes and Olympians on the track and field. Alabama, Kansas State, Nebraska, New Mexico State, UT-PanAmerican and UT-San Antonio will complete the field for Saturday’s meet.

Headlining the Miners’ roster is five-time All-American Blessing Okagbare. The current Conference USA Female Athlete of the Week currently ranks second in the nation in the long (6.44m/21-01 ½) and triple jump (13.52m/44-04 ¼).

Senior All-Americans Dominic Tanui and Alex van der Merwe will be competing in a Miner uniform for the last time at Kidd Field. Tanui, whose time of 1:49.52 in the 800-meter run is the fourth best in the country, will compete in the 1,500-meter race. van der Merwe, with the 12th best throw in the nation, will look to improve his mark on the javelin.

Hammer throwers Dimitrios Fylladitakis and Hans Eriksson will be the first men on the field at 11:30 a.m. Both throwers also have national ranking marks in the event. Fylladitakis’ 216 feet, seven inches (66-03m) performance is currently the fifth in the nation, Eriksson’s 208 feet, nine inches (63.64m) ranks 12th. Both marks were achieved at the 2009 UTEP Springtime on March 28.

Leading the parade of elite athletes is the 2008 United States Olympic Trials high jump champion Jesse Williams. Williams was a three-time NCAA high jump champion while at the University of Southern California. The NCAA reigning champion, UTEP alum, and 2008 Olympian Mickael Hanany will provide the challenge for Williams in the high jump. The men’s high jump is scheduled to 3:30 p.m.

Erick Walder will highlight the men’s long jump at 2:30 p.m. Walder was a 10-time NCAA Champion while at the University of Arkansas earning six crowns in the long jump and four in the triple jump.

Local product Shardae Boutte, an Andress High School graduate, will compete in the men’s triple jump. Boutte is the triple jump record holder at the University of Oklahoma, and posted a distance of 51 feet and seven ¾ inches at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Olympian Tiombe Hurd, the current American record holder in the women’s triple jump, will bring her personal best 47 feet and five inches (14.45m) to the field.

UTEP’s 2009 Track and Field Hall of Fame inductee Alexandros Papadimitriou will join fellow countryman Fylladitakis on the hammer throw. The four-time Olympian was the 1995 NCAA Indoor Champion in the 35-pound weight throw, a five-time All-American and a WAC Champion four times while at UTEP. Papadimitriou will be inducted to the UTEP Track and Field Hall of Fame on Friday night.



2009 UTEP Invitational Elite Athletes
Ronalds Arajs - Latvia
- Won Latvia’s national titles in the 100- and 200-meters in 2006
- Latvia’s national junior champion in the 100 in 2005 and 2006
- Competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the 200-meter dash

Dewayne Barrett - Jamaica
- Gold medalist in the 1,600-meter relay at the 2000 World Junior Championships
- Helped Jamaica’s 1,600-meter relay to a silver medal at the 2008 World Indoor Championships
-Took second in the 400-meter dash at the 2005 CAC Championships

Allison Beckford - Jamaica
- 400-meter dash - 50.83
-Three-time NCAA Champion in the 400-meters
- Helped Jamaica’s 1,600-meter relay to bronze at the 2003 World Championships

Shardae Boutte - United States
- Four-time All-American in the triple jump
- The Andress High School (El Paso, Texas) alum took second in the triple jump at the 2005 and 2006 NJCAA Outdoor Championships
- Holds the triple jump record at Oklahoma (55.0/16.76) and the outdoor and indoor records at South Plains
- Jumped a distance of 51-7 3/4 at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials

Lerone Clarke - Jamaica
- 100-meter dash 0 10.15
- Second in the 100-meter dash at the 2005 NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships
- Finished fourth as part of the 400-meter relay at the 2005 World Championships
- Ran at the 2006 and 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships

Alice Falaiye - Canada
- Long jump - 6.63 (21-9)
- Gold medalist in the long jump at the 2003 Pan American Games
- Competed at the 2001 World Championships

Mickael Hanany - France
- 2008 NCAA Outdoor Champion in the high jump, 2.32 (7-7 ¼)
- Represented France at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the high jump
- Competed at the 2002 and 2006 European Championships
- Participated in the 2005 World Championships
- Eight time NCAA All-American
- Tied the Kidd Field record, 2.31 (7-7), in the high jump in 2008

Tiombe Hurd - United States
- Holds the American record in the triple jump with a PR of 14.45m (47-5)
- Competed in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games for the United States
- Four-time gold medalist at the U.S. Indoor Championships (‘00, ‘01, ‘04, & ‘06)
- Two-time U.S. Indoor Champion (‘01 & ‘04)
- Took bronze at the 2001 World Indoor Championships

Churandy Martina - Netherlands Antilles
- Holds the Netherlands Antilles’ national records in the 100-meter dash (9.93)
- Earned All-American honors at UTEP in the 100, 200 and 400-meter relay in 2006
- Competed in the 100 and 200 at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
- Competed in the 100 at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games
- Gold medalist in the 100m dash and the 400 relay at the 2006 Central American Championships
- Ran at the IAAF World Championships in 2003 and 2005
- Anchored the Netherlands Antilles’ 400 relay to a sixth-place finish at the 2005 World Championships

Halimat Ismaila - Nigeria
- Part of the 400-meter relay team that took gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympic games
- Competed in the 100 at the 2008 Olympics
- 2008 NCAA All-American

Fatimoh Muhammed - Nigeria
- 2006 NCAA All-American in the 800-meter run

Blessing Okagbare - Nigeria
- Bronze medalist in the long jump at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
- Garnered five NCAA All-American honors during the 2008 season
- 2008 NCAA Outdoor runner-up in the triple jump
- Took silver in the long jump at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships
- 2007 All-Africa Games silver medalist in the long jump, fourth in the triple jump

Oludamola Osayomi - Nigeria
- Two-time Olympian for Nigeria (‘04 & ‘08)
- Bronze medalist in the 400-meter relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
- Competed in the 100-meter dash at the 2008 Olympics
- Sixth in the 60-meter dash at the 2008 World Championships

Alexandros Papadimitriou - Greece
- Four-time Olympian
- 12-time national champion
- Bronze medalist at the 2002 European Games
- Holds the national record in the hammer throw, 80.45 set in 2000
- Junior National record holder in the hammer throw set in 1990
- 1995 NCAA Indoor Champion in the 35-lb. weight throw
- Five-time NCAA All-American, four-time WAC Champion

Rickey Pinkney - United States
- 2006 NCAA All-American in the 60-meter hurdles

Tori Polk - United States
- 2005 All-American in the long jump

Ola Sesay - United States
- Three-time all American while at the University of North Carolina
- Took bronze at the 2007 USA Outdoor Championships

Erick Walder - United States
- Six-time NCAA long jump champion, four-time triple jump NCAA champion
- Holds the Kidd Field record in the long jump, 8.74m (28-8 ¼)
- Silver medalist in the long jump at the 1994 Goodwill Games
- Finished second at the 1997 and 1998 World Championships
- Took bronze in the long jump at the 1999 World Indoor Championships

Jesse Williams - United States
- 2008 Olympic Trials high jump champion
- Champion at the 2005 and 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships, and at the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships
- Took silver at the 2008 and 2009 USA Indoor Championships
- 2005 USA Outdoor runner-up
- Finished third at the 2006 USA Indoor Championships